"" Writer's Wanderings: World Cruise - The Half Way Point

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

World Cruise - The Half Way Point

Somewhere between Adelaide and Albany we passed the halfway mark in days: 54 done, 54 to go, and a few days later we passed the half-distance mark. I’ve tried reflecting on this whole world cruise idea and deciding if I would do it again. I know. We have a long way to go yet but you see just a week ago or so Crystal executives came on board the ship to introduce the new world cruise itinerary. . .for 2018! The intervening years are already set and probably near sold out. There was plenty of incentive to book while on board for 2018 and we were getting first crack at it.

I had already determined that if we were to do a long cruise like this again I was going to need a balcony. I truly need a place to retreat and the room without a balcony feels too confining for too long. I guess that’s one thing that I don’t like about this cruise. The noise. Not a lot of noise. Just constant noise. There is the noise of the ship which becomes just white noise after a while unless there’s a change like when the captain kicks it up a notch and starts another generator to gain some speed.

But then there is the noise of people. There are always people about and always talking. I’m just not enough of a social butterfly, I guess. But I digress. Back to deciding about 2018. There were several itineraries to choose from including two where you jumped from one ship to the other. They ranged in length from 96 to 129 days. We decided to price one out and chose one ship for 112 days. When the total rang up it was more than twice what we’d paid for this one! “We’ll think about it,” we told the consultant.

That got me back to thinking about whether I like this long world cruise idea. I have to say there are days when it’s heavenly and then there are days when I really miss being home. I miss my recliner most of all I think. Some days I even miss our evenings of watching Big Bang Theory reruns although we have had a couple of nights where we have watched a movie in our room. TV mainly consists of CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, etc., a movie channel, and destination films or reruns of the lectures from the morning and afternoon sessions which have been weighty with politics and world government and financial predictions.

I do enjoy the personal services though. Bed made and turned down. Meals cooked and served. Someone who will get me a beverage before the show starts in the evening. And there are the friends we’ve made who don’t make demands on me—well, except to try to get me involved with a few activities. Thankfully they seem to understand my need to go off on my own and write or read. (I have conceded to a couple of World Cruise Olympic events—more later).

Perhaps the most disappointing is the expectations put upon me by the “dress code,” written and unwritten. It was a point of major discussion when there was an open forum one afternoon. No jeans was the cry! The executive pointed out that some people purchase $400 jeans and would like to wear them in the dining room since they are acceptable designer clothing in other venues on shore. I don’t expect to wear jeans in the dining room for dinner. I don’t own a $400 pair anyway.

The blessing in all of this has been the table mates that we were paired with. There’s no pressure. We enjoy each other’s company so much we even go together on tours on occasion and have determined to spend one night each segment in a specialty restaurant together where we can actually hear each other talk above the din in the dining room.

So, would I do this again? The jury is still out. After all, there’s 40+ more days to go and we’re getting to the part of the world I’ve never seen before. Our safari is just around the corner!

Meanwhile we have six sea days between Perth and Mauritius Island, our next port. The staff has organized a World Cruise Olympics with such events as chess, solitaire, basketball throws, paddle tennis, sudoku, walking, swimming laps (when the pool is full) and many more. Something there for everyone. Medals will be handed out for each event and we've all received T shirts for participation.

And I managed to turn another year older a week ago. My St. Patrick's Day birthday started with an Aussie leprechaun (Ian Cooper) fiddling his way through the dining room at breakfast. He appeared here and there throughout the day and was a big part of The Lord of the Dance show put on by the entertainment staff. What amazing performances of dance, song, and fiddling. Of course dinner was corned beef and I had a special chocolate cake with chocolate icing. It was a great day!

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